We drove to Minneapolis from Mt Rushmore to see a friend from my past. When I knew her before there was tension because of a man. We started off as good friends but then I became possesive. He had the same sense of humor as her. My jealousy got in the way. We did not speak for two years after she left Thailand. And then I was in her city at her door step near tears, hugging her. She is a small woman and so my hug enveloped her. I hoped she understood what this envelopment meant.
Neither of us have spoken to the boy. We have our friendship back. She knows me and we spoke as though we knew each other. It felt easy. I loved her all over again. She did not see me as fragile.
We went out to Thai food. We both drank Singha wanting the good bits of Thailand back in our lives. Her boyfriend she just bought a house with in a funky part of the city had a water as did Kevin. I was glad Kevin was there to help with awkward moments.
I woke up after the night of Thailand reminders and drank coffee with Liz before Kevin woke up. In talking we remembered why we were friends. A large painting leaned against the wall. It was of a picture she had taken in Indonesia from a hot bus full of locals and us. Two boys playing the Ukelele. She was good at painting and she loved it. Boxes bordered the dining room reminding me newness didn’t have to be far away.
She fascinated me as we spoke. She had a customer service job but she did not allow that to define her. She was multifaceted as an artist and certified in Yoga and world traveler and girlfriend. I had been searching urgently for a job I would be happy with defining me. She was content and full in this moment with so much more than a customer service job at Express.
Liz and Tony gave us a tour of their newly acquired house. They talked about staining the floor of the basement and painting murals on the walls and selling tickets to rock shows they will hold in it.
Liz and I went to a movie together while Kevin perused his wifi life in a coffee shop and Tony worked on the 22nd floor of a building in downtown Minneapolis. We sat in an empty theater looking at a blank screen. We talked about how life can be exciting in many different ways. How buying a house and finding somebody you can see a future with can be just as exciting as traveling the world. Settling wasnt unthrilling in her eyes. Rather, finding somebody and buying a house in a city you love isn’t settling. It is life. It is living. I appreciated her for reminding me of that. The small woman with the Minnesotan accent and freckles splashed over her face.
The movie started. We talked about the awkwardness in the screen with characters who were beautiful and quirky. I had seen it before but I still cried at certain parts.
Later that night we went to a dinner at her friend’s yellow apartment. We ate pasta with chicken and sundried tomatoes. I smiled at Liz from across the table saying with my eyes this feels so easy why did we ever allow a man to ruin us. And then Kevin and I would make eye contact and say I’m really happy I put my unfocused life on hold and I decided to drive across the country with you in a car named Garrett. And for the first time in a long time I did not feel like I was missing anything. This was exactly where I was supposed to be. And then life made sense just as it did in Canada at Lake Louise as I climbed down the mountain thinking of future plans and believing anything is possible.